1921: The Great Novel of the Irish Civil War

1921: The Great Novel of the Irish Civil War

3.8 7
by Morgan Llywelyn
     
 

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The Irish fight for independence is one of the most captivating tales of the twentieth century. Morgan Llywelyn, the acclaimed historical writer of books like Lion of Ireland, Bard and The Horse Goddess, is the writer born to bring this epic battle to life. Having created an entire body of work chronicling the Celts and Ireland, she now turns to

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Overview

The Irish fight for independence is one of the most captivating tales of the twentieth century. Morgan Llywelyn, the acclaimed historical writer of books like Lion of Ireland, Bard and The Horse Goddess, is the writer born to bring this epic battle to life. Having created an entire body of work chronicling the Celts and Ireland, she now turns to recent Irish history to create a multivolume saga: The Irish Century.

1921 tells the story of the Irish War of Independence and the heartbreaking civil war that followed. Henry Mooney, a reporter for theClare Champion and the Irish Bulletin, is a self-described "moderate nationalist" who struggles to see the truth in the news of the day, and to report it fairly. Lacking more radical Republican beliefs of his dear friends Ned Halloran and Sile Duffy, Henry reports the political--and later, bloody--actions of his fellow Irishman from the ashes of the failed 1916 Rising to the creation of the Irish Free State to the tragic and wide-ranging battles of the Irish Civil War.

Meanwhile, Henry feels the impact of these history-changing events in his own personal life. His friendship with Ned falters when their political beliefs diverge, and an unexpected tragedy leaves them further apart than ever. Henry struggles with his passion for a well-bred Protestant Anglo-Irish woman, Ella Rutledge, and as he dutifully reports the events in the political battle for independence, he comes to realize that the Irish struggle for freedom wil leave no life untouched--and no Irish citizen with a dry eye or an untroubled heart.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Llywelyn's second novel in the series she inaugurated with 1916 (1998) furthers her investigation of Irish history by focusing on Ireland's struggle for freedom from Britain. This volume begins in 1917 in the aftermath of the Easter Rising and carries through to the civil war and the establishment of the Republic of Ireland. That Llywelyn knows her Irish history, culture, language and ambience is unquestionable. Unfortunately, in her attempt to amalgamate her encyclopedic knowledge of Ireland with the fictional adventures of Henry Mooney, a journalist torn between the traditional demands of family and personal ambition and his commitment to his country, she produces a story that is as dense as an Irish bog and nearly as confusing to navigate. Henry, a supporter of the Republican cause but a political moderate and neutral observer by nature, moves with alacrity among the various factions, apparently enjoying journalistic immunity as he uses his pen to further the Irish cause and attack the British. As the situation in the country deteriorates, Henry's personal life becomes more complex. Smitten with passionate S le Halloran, but unable to possess her since she is the wife of his best friend and Easter veteran Ned (protagonist of 1916), Henry falls in love with beautiful Anglo-Irish siren Ella Rutledge, further dividing his loyalties. Often sliding into essayistic prose, with footnotes supplementing the text, the novel depicts events and political developments in exhaustive detail. Though the account of the civil war is thorough and nuanced, readers of 1916 and other popular books by Llywelyn (Lion of Ireland; Bard, etc.) may be taken aback by the historical heft of this offering. (Mar.) Forecasts: Llywelyn is a popular writer and this book won't hurt her sales record, boosted as it will be by an excerpt in the mass market edition of The Last Prince of Ireland (due out March 1), an eight-city author tour, national ad/promo and the availability of a reading group guide (the book is caboosed by 17 pages of source notes and bibliography). Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
After a fat handful of Irish historicals about legendary figures like Finn Mac Cool, Llywelyn strode into modern times and Ireland's Easter Rising in 1916 (1998) and now in 1921 chronicles the separation of Ireland into two states, basing much of her narrative on reportage by her own journalist grandfather. She includes as well source notes for each chapter and a lengthy bibliography. Narrator Henry Mooney, based on Llywelyn's grandfather, joins other real-life people as he seeks the truth behind bloody events, then falls for Ella, a Brit who has been taught Irish history by Ireland's conquerors and thinks Henry unwise to follow about Michael Collins and the rebels. The love story stays afloat with Ella getting pregnant, while Llywelyn supports her lively pages with hundreds of daily clippings pasted throughout. A nation's agony, with sequels forthcoming. Author tour

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781429913157
Publisher:
Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date:
04/01/2010
Series:
Irish Century , #2
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
432
Sales rank:
159,928
File size:
1 MB

Meet the Author

Since 1980 Morgan Llywelyn has created an entire body of work chronicling the Celts and Ireland, from the earliest times to the present day. her critically acclaimed novels, both of history and of mythology, have been translated into many languages. She is an Irish citizen and lives in Dublin.


Since 1980, Morgan Llywelyn has created an entire body of work chronicling the Celts and Ireland, from the earliest times to the present day. Her critically acclaimed novels, both of history and of mythology, have been translated into many languages. Her books include 1916 and Bard: The Odyssey of the Irish. She is an Irish citizen and lives in Dublin.

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